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R. Buckminster Fuller
author, scientist, artist, inventor, architect, engineer, philosopher, mathematician, metaphysician, cartographer, visionary, social historian, creator of dymaxion engineering, geodesics, synergy, synergetics, World Game & world resources inventory, arguably the first modern futurist. www.bfi.org

Instant Shelter! Refugees and Catastrophe Victims
need Shelter Quick - with little Labor

In a weakened state, disaster victims can't wait for days to have shelter and safety. Emergency Shelters need to be modular, compact, lightweight, wind-resistant and easy to install or relocate if necessary
.

Emergency Temporary Shelter and habitation was one of the earliest problems addressed and solved as part of Buckminster Fuller's comprehensive Anticipatory Design-Science strategy. The approach was two-part.

First,
to redesign & improve the standard of structural stability & performance in human dwellings
, making them safer and less likely to collapse or sustain damage in a natural or human-made disaster.

Second,
to design (and mass produce) temporary structures that used the minimum amount of materials to get the greatest level of effectiveness
, and were simple enough to be erected by one or two people with a few simple tools.

Both tasks were accomplished by employing Dynamic Tension Structures Instead of compression structures - which are held in place by the force of gravity pulling down on the heavy construction materials.

Fuller writes in 1928, "These new homes are structured after the natural system of humans and trees with a central stem or backbone, from which all else is independently hung, utilizing gravity instead of opposing it. This results in a construction similar to an airplane - light, taut, and profoundly strong." (R.B. Fuller, 4D Timelock)


The spherical Geodesic Dome uses the "doing more with less" principle by enclosing the greatest volume of interior space with the minimum amount of surface area, saving on energy, labor, materials and cost.

Fuller introduced the idea that when the sphere’s diameter is doubled it will quadruple its square footage and produce eight times the volume.

The spherical structure of a dome is one of the most efficient interior atmospheres for human dwellings because air and energy are allowed to circulate without obstruction. This enables heating and cooling to occur naturally. Geodesic shelters have been installed in many extreme climates and temperatures and they have proven to be the most safe, effective & efficient shelter possible. You may remember the "Biosphere" space-living simulations carried out in the 1980s were done in a giant space-frame and geodesic structure.
It's nearly certain that the first interplanetary human dwellings will be entirely geodesic in design.

The dome is energy efficient for a number of reasons:

1. its decreased surface area requires less building materials .
2. exposure to cold in the winter and heat in the summer is decreased because,
being spherical, there is the least surface area per unity of volume per structure.
3. the concave interior creates a natural airflow that allows the hot or cool air to
flow evenly throughout the dome with the help of return air ducts.
4. extreme wind turbulence is lessened because the winds that contribute to heat loss flow smoothly around the dome.
5. it acts like a type of giant down-pointing headlight reflector that reflects and concentrates interior heat.
This helps prevent radiant heat loss and maintain temperature stability inside..

The net annual energy savings for a dome owner is 30% less than normal rectilinear homes according to the Oregon Dome Co. This is quite an improvement and helps save the environment by conserving energy and resources. Domes have been designed by Bucky and others to withstand high winds and extreme temperatures as seen in the Polar regions.

Many dome manufacturers offer various designs in geodesic dome housing with astonishingly little assembly time required. Some 3-story dome houses can be assembled in less than a 3 days with others taking up to 3 months.

Question: What is the strongest structure possible?
Answer: The Oct-tet Truss created by Buckminster Fuller, patented on May 30, 1961 #2,986,241. Sometimes called the 'Space-Frame' because of it's use in the NASA space program - due to it's economy, strength and ease of assembly.

Question:
Why is it so indestructible?
Answer: TRIANGLES.
Square corners (most buildings) are not structural, they tend to collapse sideways & flatten when force is applied. To stabilize a square you have to "x" it - making triangles.
The triangle is the most basic self-reinforcing structure - each side holds the others in place. The Oct-Tet Truss is made entirely of triangles arranged in the most economical relationship possible, an alternating array of tetrahedral and octahedra.

This structure is lightweight and uses the minimum amount of materials to get the most load-bearing strength. It's practically indestructible and should be incorporated at a number of scales into the design of modern shelters and homes, especially those in disaster prone areas.

For example If Space Frame structuring was incorporated into the anchoring and walls of trailer-park homes - you'd have no more of them blowing away all the time, over and over in tornados across the american southeast.


Click Here for Stanford University Archives
of Bucky's Original Geometrical Models in 3-D

 
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